A little Valentines Day Sumthin' Sumthin'

Valentines Day may be one of the most contested days of the year with people splitting themselves between the lovers and the haters of this day. Yours truly, is in neither of these camps and will not be writing a Carrie-esque rant about Valentines day forcing people into two categories; the ‘happy couples’ and the ‘miserable singletons’. As a sociology student as well as being a writer, I enjoy observing people and in sociological terms ‘debunking’ human interaction. So in these terms what do the red roses, chocolates and hearts in every shop really mean? I think what amuses and interests me the most about this day is how it divides people into two camps. Having just been through an emotional break up, I could identify with the infamous scene in Bridget Jones, where Bridget in her red pajamas gets drunk on vodka and sings ‘All By Myself'. Thankfully, the mere mention of ‘L-O-V-E’ or the sickeningly sweet cards and sentiments don’t cause me to drunkenly warble off key.  And despite my own emotions, the sight of men buying last minute roses in Woolworths makes me smile. Hey, love is love and good for those men being well trained enough to know not to buy yellow roses for such an occasion.

Talking to my 18 year old sister about Valentines Day, she spouted off a whole lot of anti-Valentines day cynicism. Now, I’m not saying that her points about it being commercial and that love shouldn’t be celebrated on only one day aren’t valid. But for someone who hasn’t been through a relationship never mind the joys and heartbreaks of love, the cynicism just doesn’t make sense and seems a little rehearsed. And this is where, I believe that media both perpetuates the Valentines Day hype as well as the cynicism for those who don’t have a partner. It’s a role to play the jaded singleton and if it were a movie, this jaded singleton would, at the last minute, be surprised by their secret crush with a bouquet of red roses. Perhaps, that’s in the back of each ‘spinster in the making’s’ mind.

And, the lovers of this day. The ones that buy heart decorated pajamas and look forward to the bouquet of red roses or the men who buy red lacy underwear, (because really that’s the only appeal for them). Much like any holiday whether it’s Christmas or Easter, it’s the value set behind buying into this commercially driven day, which should be looked at. True, no man should need an excuse to buy roses for the women he loves but Valentines Day can provide a catalyst for the beginnings of relationships and can embolden even the most timid admirer. Like every holiday or special day, Valentines Day can be used to unify people and in a society that works to alienate us from our neighbors and at times, ourselves, a little unity is always a good thing. Just this morning, our client, Netflorist, suffered a huge setback with drivers striking all over the country on the biggest delivery day of their entire year. With 800 deliveries due locally Netflorist have appealed to friends and family to deliver their Valentines flowers and parcels to those depending on them.  Something like that speaks volumes as to the importance of customer- client relationship. But the most important relationship, is that relationship between the sender of the flowers and the women who receives them, who will feel special and cared for.

So if I’m not with the lovers or the haters and in my mind, not a 'spinster in the making', where do I stand on ‘Single awareness Day’? Neither apathetic nor cynical, my experience has been that this day has the capacity to inspire regardless if it’s the inspiration of a boy sending a card, flowers or a heartfelt email to a girl.  Or in the midst of a crisis, people volunteering to make sure that clients receive their flowers. Or in my case, finding inspiration in myself to write and to know that Valentines day won’t always be spent alone.

If I were to follow the theme of Valentines Day, it’s about love, right? So this year, it’s about loving myself and knowing what I deserve. The sight of the red roses won’t make me aware of my lack of a Valentine, but rather aware of how beautiful they are and why they’re my favourite flower. And what about the lack of a date? It’s an excuse to catch up with an old friend over some wine and some good food in one of Joburg’s quirky restaurants.

To the lovers of this day, enjoy curling up with your Valentine and enjoy the flowers and the chocolate. To the haters, love yourselves and love the people in your lives whether they’re your family or friends. At all costs avoid drinking yourself into a stupor and singing ‘All By Myself'’, I promise you won’t die alone and be eaten by Alsatians.


The First Post

Hi there, I always find these first posts a little awkward and often don’t know what to say. Perhaps, a good place to start would be why I decided to start blogging (again) and why I hope I can make this blog last longer than my previous attempts. Having studied journalism for the last three years, I’ve been encouraged to blog and explore the new frontier of new media. Studying abroad in Louisville, Kentucky I had a travel blog which the longest example of my blogging abilities but when I came back to South Africa, I saw no need to write anymore.  Along with this, I temporarily had my own photography blog but that didn’t last too long. The thing is I love to write, I love photography, I love fashion and I love South Africa. But I never managed to piece these four all together and I guess that’s the main reason for being a failed blogger, I was never writing about what’s at the very core of who I am. And what’s more discouraging is that every blog I read is normally written by either an American, British, Romanian girl with a hipster-esque style and who appears to lead a more exciting life than I do and with easier access to high fashion than I have. Tough competition.

So you may be asking, why am I bothering to put this out there if there’s no point? Well, being the communicator that I am I can’t help but want to share what I know and my experiences. And most importantly, I can’t accept that the only blogs for twenty something women out there are relevant only to those women in the first world and with access to things I could only dream about. This isn’t to slate any of the blogs that have inspired me and that still inspire me. Instead this is just a little fashion, art and culture blog coming from a little South African girl with some big ideas and ambitions....

So bear with me as I find my feet please. And I will try my best to put something relevant, exciting and inspiring out into the virtual world. And my hope is to present another side of what it is to be twenty one year old girl growing up in South Africa. 

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